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Less than Perfect Magical Materials

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  • Less than Perfect Magical Materials

    For a while now I have pondered this. Is it possible to make a Wonder out of something less than the 6 magical materials? I finally decided for my game, YES. Yes it is, but it is less than ideal but has advantages all it's own. Like, easier to get, less likely to attract the attention of the Wyld Hunt, less costly to obtain. The down side is if you look the 5 Magical Materials confer (effectively) perfect bonus level on whatever they are made of. The only exception being jade as described in the core book, when you look at the later treated jades that have their true potential come out they again turn to perfect equipment bonuses. I balanced these as if they were Ordinary, Fine, and Excellent equipment.
    Here are some of the ones I came up with. As a side note I created the effect of Obsidium based on Apache mythology. All of these can be attuned by any Exalted without need for harmonic devices, or Vitriol baths.

    Edit: These materials attune based on Virtues, to attune natively you must have a virtue of at least 3 in the listed virtue, which is specified in Parentheses.

    Unicorn bone (Compassion): The Bones and horn of the Wyld Creature the unicorn can be hardened and added to armor, and fashioned into weapons. Such weapons grant the bearer the natural beauty and swiftness of the unicorn. Hearthstone bracers add a +1 to seduction attempts, Armor increases MDV by 1. Close combat weapons add +1 Rate but lose -1 Damage, ranged weapons gain +1 Damage.

    Thousand Fold Steel (Conviction): Steel that has been folded and refined a thousand times in the forging process working out it's imperfections until it's on the edge of perfection. In armor it provides +1 to all Soaks and in melee weapons it adds +1 to accuracy, ranged weapons are not effected by Thousand Fold Steel. Requires

    Essence Glass (Temperance): This clear glass made when a massive essence weapon strike hits a city and liquifies the sand under it the molten sand condensed. All artifacts reduce attunement cost by 2 to a minimum of 0

    Malfean Brass (Conviction): Mined from the body of Malfeas this brass is harder than mortal steel and lighter. Armor made of it reduces it's fatigue and mobility penalty by 1. No effect on weapons, or hearthstone bracers. +1 to die rolls to apply vitriolic modifications. Free for weapons made of this material for infernal exalts and Akuma as it is more common than dirt (very literally) in Malfeas.

    Malfean Iron (Valor): Iron mined from the body of Malfeas it is heavy and durable and holds a portion of the unbending will of Malfeas himself. Weapons made of this add +1 Accuracy, +1 Defense (or range for ranged weapons). No effect on Armor, or Hearthstone bracers. +1 to the roll to apply vitriolic modifications like Sentience, or Caustic.

    Lightning Crystal (Valor): In the North everything Freezes, even lightning will freeze when it strikes the ground. Lighting Crystal armor adds +1 to join battle rolls of it's wearer. All weapons made of Lighting Crystal reduce their speed by 1.

    Ice Heart Crystal (Conviction): The Frost of the north cools even the heart of the earth it's self. mined up these crystals are fist size ice crystals dating back thousands of years. The alchemical process to stabilize them requires time by the art is easy enough that anyone can perform it with a book and an hour of study. Ice Heart Armor adds +3L soak vs. Fire and heat based damage, melee weapons add +1 defense and +1 damage (+3L vs fire elementals and Fire Aspected Dragon Bloods)

    Obsidium (Compassion): Obsidian stone absorbs dark energy and over time refines it into positive energy. Obsidium is a metal alloy that alchemically adds Obsidian to steel. In Hearth Stone bracers it provides +2L soak against energy based attacks from creatures of darkness. In Armor it provides +2L against all attacks from creatures of darkness. Weapons made of Obsidium deal +3 damage against creatures of darkness.

    Demon Bone / Monster Bone / Chinton (Valor): Long known by the citizens of Malfeas the bones of Demons can by used and alloyed into armor and weapons. In addition since the Lunar have discovered that the beasts of the Wyld, and even deadly natural beasts bones all hold a feral animalistic resonance allowing them to be made into artifacts, but add no bonus at all.

    Iron Heartwood(Temperance): The heartwood of the Ironwood tree treated with a Steelsilk based lacquer can be used to mimic metal. Armor reduces hardness by 1, but increases rolls to resist poison by 2. Weapons receive -1 defense, but +2 accuracy.


    ​Please feel free to add your own, or point out any miss balancing, or flaws in my idea this is still very tentative.
    Last edited by HaplessWithDice; 06-27-2014, 12:33 AM.



  • #2
    Really cool idea

    I haven't analyzed it enough to tell if the bonuses are balanced or whatever, but more magical stuff than the 6 MM sounds great - Especially stuff that's on varied power ratings.

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    • #3
      Would Lesser MM equipment appear to be lower artifact rating?

      Also, Chiaroscuro glass has stats for being a weapon, where they give any bladed weapon the piercing tag.

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      • #4
        It's definitely a cool concept, and I really approve!

        That said, you should consider a simple question: Why would a character use these instead of the 5/6 Magical Materials, given that these provide less bonus, but maintain the same cost and everything. I understand that it's a good thing for the setting to have a wide variety of stuff used in magical weapons and armor, but from a game-design point of view, there should be a reason to have it (even if that reason's just "it's cheaper" or "it requires less attunement").

        One thing I've seen is the use of things like this as modifiers, not to artifacts, but to regular items. They provide a set bonus which is greater - or at least different - than the standard Fine / Exceptional quality bonuses (remember, Perfect quality items don't exist as of 2.5), with an increased Resources cost which generally varies depending on where you are (frozen lightning's cheaper in the North, raw labyrinthine ore is more available in the underworld, etc.)

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        • #5
          I seem to recall that it's entirely possible to make artefacts without the magical materials, there's even a thaumaturgical ritual in the core book for enchanting artefacts without them. It's just that such artefacts do not enjoy the benefits of being effectively indestructible, nor do they have magical material bonuses.

          Still, I like your bonus table, not so much for the numbers, but because of the ideas. I was thinking that weapons forged out of Malfean Brass would require one less Strength to wield - doesn't seem like much, until the big brute (Strength 5+1 for Large) comes swinging with a Grand Grimcleaver in each hand. Could also use Firegems (or whatever they're called), which are basically the opposite of Ice Heart Crystals, and maybe various types of blood - God, Elemental, Demon, 1,000 virgins/murderers (depending on desired result) - to quench a blade or armour with, for effect.


          Aretii: "As one of the players described it, 'After initiation, it was actually a relief seeing who had eyepatches or bandaged hands - you know what they sacrificed, instead of wondering what bits people cut out of their own souls to gain power.'"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tzar1990 View Post
            It's definitely a cool concept, and I really approve!

            That said, you should consider a simple question: Why would a character use these instead of the 5/6 Magical Materials, given that these provide less bonus, but maintain the same cost and everything. I understand that it's a good thing for the setting to have a wide variety of stuff used in magical weapons and armor, but from a game-design point of view, there should be a reason to have it (even if that reason's just "it's cheaper" or "it requires less attunement").

            One thing I've seen is the use of things like this as modifiers, not to artifacts, but to regular items. They provide a set bonus which is greater - or at least different - than the standard Fine / Exceptional quality bonuses (remember, Perfect quality items don't exist as of 2.5), with an increased Resources cost which generally varies depending on where you are (frozen lightning's cheaper in the North, raw labyrinthine ore is more available in the underworld, etc.)
            Part of the reasons are two fold. 1 being crafting them requires significantly less resources. For the cost of buying the gold and reagent to make 1 reaper diaklave, I can make hundreds of thousand fold steel diaklaves. So you hit it right on the head it is cheaper. Lots cheaper. I can go out and hunt monsters in the wyld and take their hides and bones to make bone versions for almost nothing. So yes I might consider reducing artifact dots by one (To a min 1) for these versions because they are lower quality. That was one thing I wanted input on. Second crafting rolls are easier on these lower quality artifacts, requiring only 2/3 the cumilated sucesses.


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            • #7
              Thousand Fold Steel needs to be an elaborate reference to the katana copy pasta. Otherwise this is great.


              Formerly KingCrazyGenius. Still a Malfean Bovine.
              The New Adventures of Spearpsycho Soulshitterson

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              • #8
                The advantage of the Five Magical Materials isn't really this big special deal to me. Their main advantage aren't in power per se but in other features. First of all they are common, especially jade, compared with other rare components. Second they are well understood so its easy to use them in artifacts. Third they can work with a wide range of things. Finally their big use to Exalted is that they resonate with animas. Moonsilver is useful to Lunars because they can get the most out of it cheaply.

                I fully support the idea of weird things being used as materials. Really though the issue to me comes to why these things should be easy to be used. Why should a Solar be able to easily attune to frozen lightning? Remember that any Exalt can attune to any Magical Material the only thing is that they can get the full use of their kinds metal cheaper. Any Dragonblooded can wield a Moonsilver Daiklaive with the same bonuses as any Lunar. They get full bonus out of Jade though because their anima is aligned with it.


                https://www.youtube.com/BogMod I play a lot of videogames.

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                • #9
                  @BogMod
                  The fact is they aren't common. Oricalcum is hard to get, there are a limited number of places to mine it and if you're a solar you have to get through many Elder dragonbloods with heavy weapons and armor to get at it because they Empire and Lookshy have the stuff on lockdown, then after that you have to refine it. As I said above for the price of one oricalcum Daiklave you could make a 1000 thousand fold Steel Daiklave, and while the 5 magical materials resonate with the energies of the sun, moon, elements, fates, and death these materials resonate with conviction, compassion, valor, temperance, and will. Things that all exalted have, even the darker ones, even mortals who have awakened essence can learn to easily attune these materials as if native to them. A solar can attune Frozen Lightning because it resonates with Valor, so long as he has a valor rating he can attune. If you think that there should be a minimum 2 dot in a virtue to get the reduction to artifact rating, and massive reduction to crafting price than that would be a balance issue, and I will address this.

                  Moonsilver can only be mined at night, at a place where the moon's light strikes a silver vein in a boarder march, and until processed can never be allowed to be touched by sunlight. Now you can using thaumaturgy in a place on the edges of the wyld convert normal, raw, silver to moonsilver but this is by no means easy to get stuff. A lunar could hunt a monster from the Wyld, kill it, collect bones and hide, doing something they do anyway, and get what they need to make their armor for less effort. Plus you don't need to have massive ranks in occult to learn how to stabilize moonsilver.

                  And yes any dragonblood can wield a moonsilver Daiklave with the same bonuses as any Lunar moments before getting executed for treason, because using something tied to the Anathema is treason and heresy. If your not killed you will have Immaculate monks and inquisitors all over you watching your every move till your so paranoid you know you can't so much as pee in private because they are watching you. If I am a fire dragonblood why should I announce to an anathema what I am and give up the element of surprise? If I am an outcaste or a lost egg found I am not coming from money. Jade is common, but it isn't that common they are more likely to give it out like candy to just anyone who exals, they won't just give me a heap of jade artifacts since I am poor and not from a proper Dynastic family it would be easier for the empire to find and get frozen lightning, or Obsidium for a Reaver Daiklave than Jade for a poor boy.

                  There is only one magical material that is not as cheap or cheaper than these alternatives, Soul Steel because it is made from Souls and there are a lot of souls in the underworld. It would be, for an abyssal, easier to come by than Jade for Dragonblooded. Jade is not easy to get, easy to find, and while common it is only by comparison to the others. Where as these materials are far easier to get.
                  Last edited by HaplessWithDice; 11-21-2013, 01:09 PM.


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                  • #10
                    I think we have different views on what using the Five Magical Materials means. There is nothing I am directly aware of to indicate that the Immaculate Order treats the Moonsilver, Orichalcum or Starmetal as evil or suspicious. They aren't the metal of the Anathema but the metal of the Incarna who get a huge boatload of worship from the Immaculate Order. It so happens that the Anathema who stole their powers also used it so its no surprise. The only suspicious thing is when you see what appears to be a completely regular mortal wielding them. I also find it weird that jade which is mined everywhere safely in Creation is actually more common than frozen lightning which happens in only very specific circumstances in the far far north.

                    Also I didn't know you planned to have these things resonate with virtues and willpower. Interesting take.


                    https://www.youtube.com/BogMod I play a lot of videogames.

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                    • #11
                      @BogMod
                      The idea here is that these materials are more common, or as common as jade which is still uncommon, and needs expensive rituals to tap into it's full potential. Can be used with minimal alternation (obsidium's ritual is a art 0 alchemy and exorcism ritual. for example) It is pointed out that the Immaculates and the Secular goverment have all known Oricalcum mines, and Moon Silver viens under constant guard and watch. To get any you have to have a license from the government. It is considered a controlled substance because of how closely linked to the Anathema they are, so getting these things is tough. That is pretty much right out of O's Codex.

                      A Dragon Blood using a Moonsilver weapon would need a license, and a good explanation as to why they are using this when doing such is being like the enemy which is a heresy and possibly treasonous.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WalrusJones View Post
                        Would Lesser MM equipment appear to be lower artifact rating?

                        Also, Chiaroscuro glass has stats for being a weapon, where they give any bladed weapon the piercing tag.
                        I took that out because that is too close to Adamant which is a greater MM, but yes these should reduce artifact rating by one to a minimum of 1 dot for 2 items.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HaplessWithDice View Post
                          A Dragon Blood using a Moonsilver weapon would need a license, and a good explanation as to why they are using this when doing such is being like the enemy which is a heresy and possibly treasonous.
                          It sounds like this sort of thing will be going away in 3E, however. Just based on what we've heard about the signature Solars it looks like using magical materials other than the one associated with your exalt type is going to be a lot more common.

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                          • #14
                            For E3 yes. But this is for 2.5, so that is a bit of an issue.


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                            • #15
                              Well as I said, different opinions about how the metals are viewed given the separation between Anathema(Bad) and Incarna(Good). Luna the Incarna is good. She is regularly worshipped by the Immaculate Order. Her metal, Moonsilver, is likewise good. It is only the evil Lunars who stole her power and abuse her gifts which are bad.


                              https://www.youtube.com/BogMod I play a lot of videogames.

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